A state lawmaker says a legal loophole could allow recall organizers to offer bribes for petition signatures.
State Representative Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) says he became concerned after a constituent questioned him on whether it was legal to pay someone for a signature on a recall petition. Wynn says the person claimed a friend had been offered $10 to sign a petition to recall Governor Scott Walker.
The Whitewater Republican followed up with the Government Accountability Board, which confirmed that current state laws would not prevent that from happening.
Currently, it is illegal to offer anything of value to get someone to vote, sign nomination papers, or stay home on Election Day. However, the law says nothing about recall petitions. Wynn says that’s likely because recalls were never really thought about much before this year, which has seen a historic level of petitions circulating against state senators and the governor.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:01)
Wynn is introducing a bill he says will close that loophole by adding recalls to the list of election issues where incentives cannot be used to encourage people to sign or not to sign.
In a letter to Wynn, GAB director Kevin Kennedy says offering compensation for recall petition signatures is not something the agency condones because it could undermine public confidence in the system. Kennedy writes that the Board would be interested in seeing some type of legislative reform.
WCLO’s Kyle Geissler contributed to this report.